New PowerBooks -- Just after the release of the PowerBook 3400, dubbed "the world's fastest portable" by Apple, comes the PowerBook 1000, codenamed Falcon. Announced on 01-Apr-97 and bearing the affectionate slogan "the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy," the PowerBook 1000 is based on the diminutive PowerBook 100 design and features a 320 MHz low-power PowerPC 620 CPU, 80 MB of RAM, a 2 GB hard disk, a hot-swappable removable storage bay that supports a CD-ROM drive, Zip drive, or floppy drive, and ten hours of battery life on trilithium resin battery technology. Unique to the PowerBook 1000 is generalized wireless communication technology that enables the machine to act as a pager or cellular telephone, or to connect to the Internet via a wireless modem at speeds up to 53 Kbps. Prices are expected to start at $1,500. [ECA]
Double the Trouble -- Connectix recently announced the latest in its Doubler suite, a new browser plug-in called JAVADoubler (formerly known by its code name, DoubleShot). Slated for release on 01-Apr-97, the plug-in downloads all Java applets twice. Using special parallel download technology described by engineers as "caffeinated to the max," the double download takes no longer than a normal, single download. Why download two copies? Well, JAVADoubler doesn't stop percolating its magic once the copies are downloaded. Using memory buffering technology borrowed from RAM Doubler, JAVADoubler monitors the first download's activities, and when the applet crashes or hits an offending instruction, JAVADoubler moves operations over to the second downloaded copy. While that copy continues to run, JAVADoubler quickly downloads another copy. We applaud Connectix for its continuing efforts to help users catch up to the ever-rushing train of technological change. [EJT]
Cyberdog Abused? Rumors are circulating on the net that the real reason for the demise of Apple's OpenDoc technology was due to allegations made by an organization calling itself the Animal Internet Rights Foundation (AIRF) about Apple's mishandling of Cyberdog. A spokesperson was quoted as saying, "We received reports that Cyberdog was repeatedly hacked, delayed, and not given proper resources." AIRF investigators are also reportedly looking into the conduct of programmers Peter Lewis (in regard to his domestication of the Anarchie kangaroo), and Jim Matthews (for not paying enough attention to the Fetch dog). The University of Minnesota could not be reached for comment regarding its treatment of the gopher in the almost-defunct TurboGopher. Some have suggested that the decline of the Gopher technology was related to cutbacks in the University of Minnesota's gopher food budget. [ECA]
Mac Attack -- In a swift and decisive move, Symantec Corporation announced that it would purchase game developer Id Software for an undisclosed sum. Id, creator of popular "blast-and-run" games such as Doom and Quake, immediately issued a press release disclosing that negotiations had been "relatively bloodless (ha ha)." Symantec's first offering from its new Chainsaw/Cutting Edge department will be a revised version of Norton Utilities for Macintosh entitled NUM-Cruncher, in which users will be able to run through virtual 3D "corridors" of their hard disks in real-time, blasting bad sectors and setting fire to corrupted B-tree branches. [CLJ]
TidBITS Announces Reorganization -- Following in the footsteps of such industry leaders as Apple Computer, TidBITS today announced plans to lay off thousands of employees. "It's a bit like selling a stock short," explained TidBITS publisher Adam Engst. "First we lay off the employees, take advantage of a massive tax write-off, and then we can use the money to hire them." TidBITS also announced a shareholders meeting to be held this time next year; bring a dessert to share. [ECA]
Smoking Newtons, Batman! After a flurry of industry speculation about the fate of its underappreciated handheld technology, Apple has sold its Newton line to the highest bidder, the RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. (RN), parent company of the independently traded Nabisco, Inc. (NA) and creator of cigarette lines Camel, Winston, and Salem. As a result of the sale, Nabisco's well-known Fig Newton line will gain a new member - the Cig Newton.
Cig Newtons will feature a special compartment for storing cigarettes. An RJR representative commented that "too many potential smokers use PDAs but don't want the inconvenience of carrying around a PDA and a cigarette pack. By giving customers cigarettes and a PDA in one handy package, we think we can convince adults to try smoking and turn a huge profit." The representative had no comment when asked if the new Newtons would ship with a program that automatically recorded cigarette usage and charted the increasing risk of health problems. Additionally, no comment was offered when asked if the company would offer a similar Cig Newton aimed at children, based on the eMate design and sporting a Joe Camel face. Rumor has it that RJR is currently negotiating a technology alliance that would enable it to add a "flick-top" Bic lighter technology to future models. [EJT]
Kinko's, The New Way to Verb -- If you don't possession at home the software or hardware you requirement to completion a job, automobile down to your nearest Kinko's, where you'll discovery a row of Macs cargoed with a good selection of fonts and software, plus some great printers. Everything is all arrangemented so that at the end a time slip is printered enumerationing your charges. I've employmented this service on a number of occasions and I consideration it fun and easy; if you entrance at an odd time (such the middle of the night) you can just chair down and commencement working without competitioning for a computer. [NAM]